Writing myself a new car

I honor of the World Autism Awareness Day 2017: I have reward systems for myself and my two sons with autism. The principles are as follows:

  • Reward the behavior we want more of. Don’t reward required activities, but reward when we choose to do help with chores. Ignore when we choose not to, do not remove credits.
  • Rewards are things you would not get otherwise. Verbal praise and encouragement are given even so. You have to earn it – and get it when you finalize (a deal is a deal).
  • We use token economy and postponed gratification. Training for the mash mellow test improves forward thinking.
  • Rewards are usually LEGO. Specific piece request from Bricklink.  Every token/mark is a ten’er (DKR 10).

The teenagers (13+11) have been rewarded for doing the dishes, preparing food, taking out the garbage etc. Initially 15 tokens gave a trip to McDonalds, but as mastering progressed the rewards became bigger. One time 50 tokens/marks was needed for a reward. The options to help (“The Mark Menu”) was at one point over 20 chores. Over time they lost interest in saving but did the chores anyway, so some of the chores where made required. One day the oldest added “Do not fight” to the list of required (non-rewarding) activities 😉 Next up is to save for a game on Steam..

I’m being rewarded every time I run (5K, outside. Half a mark for treadmill), for my morning exercises and a few other thing I struggle with. I have just finished a sheet of 140 marks that I worked on since September 2016). The new target is to buy myself first a Bugatti and then a McLaren. Not a new minivan..

I am going to write myself a new car

I hope this drives the right behavior

Similar posts on leadership and praise at work: In a star team – the team gets the starsI know it is your job – but thank you anyway

Similar posts on autism: Pragmatic choices of what is important and possibleStakeholders,

Similar posts on drive and motivation: More than carrots and sticks, 16 points that may rock the boat

It all starts with an odd piece

One of my coworkers had gotten himself a LEGO 10242 MINI Cooper, and by the help of the other consultants it had been build (to spec?). We look over the remaining pieces and discuss how come. All the 1×1 plates are quite expected, there are extras of these because the weights aren’t that precise and the pieces are cheap. Also customers easily loose them, so it’s cheaper to send some extra than to handle through customer service. On BrickLink inventory there is even a fan made list of the usual extra items….

But an extra black 2×4 plate – naa. That’s odd.. And surely it missed on the bottom of the car. I had prior knowledge .. but have not built this exact set.

Now I have another hunch that the two gray 1×3 tiles and 1×1 dark green bricks in to the rear are missing somewhere. A good thing those consultants have a test department, one could say…  Still the pieces seem not to be 1-CRITICALLY missing, so the model is DONE and accepted. So even if the LEGO tester gets to ask “what if” – we have to remember to hear the answer to “does it matter” – even if it is our favorite hobbyhorse

2015-12-18 13.49.28

Lego Role Models

Who had the family’s largest LEGO set this Christmas – it was the 11-year-old and their 8 wheel 42008 Service Truck – 1276 pieces, power functions, pneumatic, gears and 44 cm forcefulness. There was no band merchandise, no glitter or similar gender framing. Quite a project – as is the story about the “Research Institute” mini-figure set.

42008-121110 Continue reading

Test Like Sherlock

Sometimes testing is like being Sherlock Holmes – You find your clues hidden in plain sight: Where the users scratch their nails; how the application user interface is cobbled together; odd patterns in the error logs….

But seldom without experimenting, seldom without pushing the subject under test or consulting the weather report, time tables – and getting out in the rain, doing some footwork.

They always seems to know better, always asking questions. They are so passionate about the problem solving skills that their standard by default seems arrogant [1]    (but that is usually not on purpose).

This is very clear in the recent BBC TV Series “Sherlock” – that illustrates and mentions their Asperger clearly. Almost on par with the The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Still when they are out solving mysteries they are a hero – if there ever was one. [2]

1: If your standard is to never be called arrogant, you’ve probably walked away from your calling. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/12/in-search-of-arrogance.html

2: Don’t make people into heroes, John. Heroes don’t exist, and if they did, I wouldn’t be one of them. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Sherlock_(TV_series)


Related: The yardstick of mythical normalityPeople are people – despite their labels,

Value of Information for Decisions

If you ask “what is the ROI of context-driven testing” it is the same as asking:

  • What is the value proposition of providing information to the stakeholders?
  • Will management and customers pay for information?

Let me tell you a story: Just today I finally got around to changing tires on my car. Three months ago I bought a campaign voucher for a cheap switch of winter tires to summer tires – so it was about time. I booked a time and went to the shop with the summer tires in the trunk. BUT then … the front tires where out of shape due to wrong “tracing”, brake cables and other stuff worn and empty for lubrication. sigh!

So … the shop had to repair those critical defects (yeah, the vouchers a good business generator, #I’mOKwithThat). They gave me the keys to a replacement car for the day for free. And we discussed fixing some other stuff – the tricky ignition was Deffered/FixedUpStream but the defective brake lights added to the work order (New bug raised due to a hunch). I got an estimate and went for the day. The quote was pretty close, the repair on time and the requirements verified on the release bill. 

And then they provides me with a list of a few things they noticed along the way. 

  • I probably paid for an automated test and configuration of a “trace” balancing – I assumed it there.
  • We did discuss scope, price, schedule and timing – along with bug triage
  • The shop did provide me with enough information and estimation up front to base my decisions on
  • As the product owner I did not pay directly for the list of test ideas not covered – but I appreciated it!

The shop could have just swapped the tires for the voucher cost – and noticed nothing else. They could have chosen not to tell me about the additional bugs. They could not have offered me a replacement car for the day. They probably where more expensive than a moonlighting garage dude – I known now what the difference can be.

I value that they provide information to aid my business decision-making – besides just swapping the stupid tires. They will probably get repeat business from me – directly or indirectly. 🙂 And yes, Scott, they did have free coffee

The 860 kcal bug

Simon 7yo made the sticks with the space alians. The egg candy is flying saucers
Simon 7yo made the sticks with space aliens.        The egg candy is flying saucers

One day I was typing in my personal measurements into my health tracker. I had to go do the weight and height and then I came back and entered them.  And I started running, burning 800+ kcal‘s every time. First thought, whatever – it’s probably right. But apparently it was awesome for running a few clicks in 20 minutes (said my wife). After some time I returned to the settings for a different reason and found:

Height 70 cm / 2.3 feet
Weight 180 kg / 374.8 lbs

No wonder I had burned some carb’s if I’d been running along with those numbers…. Bug / No bug ?

  • Apparently 70 cm is a valid height – What would be an invalid interval? – What would be invalid input?
  • Apparently 180 is a valid weight – What would be an invalid interval? – What would be invalid input?
  • How many angry users will you get for hinting that their body details are invalid?
  • Does it matter? – It didn’t matter to me (or I would have spotted it sooner, I guess)

They are just people

When you have met one child with XYZ, you have met one child. That also goes for children without labels and letters. Behind the letters (ADHD, ASD, Red hair, Dark skin, …) – they are all children, as we are all grownups.. and humans. We might be somewhat alike, but we are also different.

Stigma and the “Othering” of Autism | Published on April 1, 2012 by Lynne Soraya in Asperger’s Diary on the UN World Autism Awareness Day ]

If my autism had been recognized as a child, and I heard someone say, “I hate autism.” I would certainly have felt it to my core. The logic here is simple; I would think as follows: If “autism = bad,” and “me = autistic”, then “me = bad” must be true.

For me, autism means I have certain traits that can be very disabling in some conditions. However, if supported correctly, and in the right environments, a great many of them be turned to advantages. I attribute the bad things that have happened to me not so much on the traits themselves, but ignorance (myself and others’) of them.

If a person is autistic, autism goes with them wherever they go. If autism is something to be hated and feared, hate and fear will follow too. In the scope of things, it’s fear that is the most damaging. Don’t teach people to fear your child. 

Let’s all work together to help others to see that people (with autism) are just that, people. They are different, but not less. They are nothing to fear. 

They are just people

My bold and parenthesis. See also   Lidt autist har man nemlig lov at være

Geeks and Nerds by xkcd.com
Geeks and Nerds by xkcd.com